The first cruise we went on was a 7-day cruise and I gained 7 pounds. I was so upset, so I vowed I would never eat like that again on a cruise.
Cruise #2, I gained 8 pounds. I consoled myself by saying that I did not do too bad because my son-in-law gained 15 pounds on that cruise.
About this time, I had decided that I needed to get healthy and lose weight. I was VERY CUBBY, or fluffy as my kids said. I changed my eating habits and lost 69 pounds. The next cruise, cruise 4, I had made the decision that I would continue to eat healthy and I would maintain my weight. WRONG!!! I ate everything I wanted and again gained weight.
Do I not enjoy the food or just gain weight?
By this time, I felt like I either had to not enjoy the great food that is everywhere on a cruise ship and just eat salads, or I could resign myself to gain weight.
As we were preparing for cruise 5, I was bemoaning the weight gain that was sure to happen when my son, Ian, mentioned the strategies he had used on every cruise to not gain weight. They were such simple strategies.
I applied them on this cruise #5 and I came home 5 pounds lighter. I felt that I had enjoyed all the food I wanted. Cruises 6 & 7 had the same results, lost weight or maintained.
Here are Ian’s strategies
1. Use the main dining room for breakfast and lunch. They have smaller portions and not as many options as the buffet. It is also less crowded.
If you choose the buffet:
- Make a full circuit around the buffet to see all the offered options. Then make a plan on what you are going to eat.
- Use a salad plate instead of the large buffet plates to control your portion.
- Also, remember that they will have most of the same offerings the next day so you do not have to eat one of everything at one sitting.
2. Always take the stairs, never the elevator. You usually can beat the elevator because it has to make so many stops along the way. You also save time by not waiting for an empty elevator.
3. Book a stateroom at either end of the ship. The cruise ship halls will add a number of steps to your walking, just to get from your room to another part of the ship.
4. Use the activities offered on the ship to move more, i.e.: basketball, ice skating, ping-pong, walking the track, rock climbing, and the gym. Even the ships timed scavenger hunt will burn calories.
5. Bring a water bottle on board to stay hydrated. You can fill it for free at the buffet. Drink more water and less sugared drinks.
6. Pick an active shore excursion while in port.
7. Set a goal for steps each day and track them on your phone, smart watch, or pedometer.
8. Avoid wearing elastic-waist pants and other loose-fitting clothes to meals. They make overindulging extra-easy.
What it did for me.
I have incorporated these strategies on my last several cruises and have not gained an ounce on any of them. I have not felt deprived. I have had the molten chocolate cake and the cheesecake. I have had burgers and fries. It was all in moderation and I always took the stairs.
Put these strategies in play on your next cruise and let me know how they worked for you.
If you have any other tips for not gaining weight, leave a comment below.
See Ya Makin Memories!